Living Lab Business Model: Towards a Sustainable Innovation Ecosystem


14.00 – 15.30, 2 September 


Validating and enriching the business model for the innovation ecosystems of (public) living labs in an interactive session with the experience of the participants in other living labs.


Public living labs can deliver public value, only if their long-term viability is ensured. The long-term viability of such living labs is extremely dependant on a continuous flow of (public) funding: any interruption in receiving public funding stops living labs from creating value.
The challenge is making living labs financially self-supportive, but proposed business models for living labs lack a holistic and multi-perspective umbrella view over all business functions and stakeholder interrelations of a living lab. We believe such holistic perspective is needed to develop a viable business model.
For this reason, we developed a holistic view of the public living lab innovation ecosystem as an “activity system” which includes all business functions. The final model visualises the required activities-sets, who performs each activity-set (actors) and how the actors/activities are interrelated and structured.


In this workshop we will present a holistic business model for sustainable living lab innovation ecosystems and would like to have an interactive sessions with the participants to reflect on the model and capture their feedback from the perspective of the living labs they are involved in. We developed the model, based on literature review and 26 semi-structured interviews in three public living labs in the Eindhoven region: Atlas Living Lab, Brainport Smart District and the iCity Living Lab on Strijp-S. The aim is to understand all business activities which are required to create and capture value with innovations, the associated actors who perform each activity and the interrelations between them. From these we defined activity-sets and actor groups and developed a holistic business model for the living lab and its ecosystem.



The workshop will start with a plenary presentation. After this presentation participants will work on a virtual real-time whiteboard to react to the proposed holistic business model from their own experience and practice in other living labs. Participants can put post-its or add images. We will conclude the session with a debate on the topics that arise on the whiteboard to allow participants to explain in more detail and other participants to react.


This workshop will be a blend of divergent and convergent sessions.
The aim is to gain a deeper understanding of the activity sets, actors and interrelationships in the innovation ecosystem around living labs by presenting the results of our studies, but also by interaction with the participants to gain understanding in how other living labs are organised.


  • Welcome and quick round of introduction of all participants: 10 minutes
  • Plenary presentation: 15 minutes
  • Interactive session with virtual real-time white board: 35 minutes
  • Plenary debate on topics arising on the white board: 30 minutes


This workshop is for living lab managers and all other stakeholders in living lab innovation ecosystems. All participants gain understanding of the activity-sets, the roles of different actors and opportunities to make living labs (financially) sustainable in the longer run.